Charles R. Keller, 77, went home to the Lord on April 30, 2015. Charlie was born and raised in Kansas City, attending Pinkerton Elementary School and Southeast High School. He joined the Army National Guard after graduating high school, and retired as a Major after 20 years of service. He earned his Bachelor's degree from UCM. Charlie joined the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department as a young man of 21, and during his 30 year career worked as an accident investigator, district patrolman, dispatcher, traffic enforcement officer, hit-and-run detective, and coroner's investigator. He was also one of the department's original "Officer Friendly" speakers. He became a magician as part of this program in order to more effectively teach children about safety. After retiring from the KCPD in 1989, he joined the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, working in the Community Relations Unit. He was a D.A.R.E. instructor, thus continuing his Officer Friendly-style work with children for another 20 years. Charlie was an active member of Leawood Baptist Church. He served on many committees and as a deacon, and was recently awarded Deacon Emeritus status. He was also an active member of the Gideons and gave out Scriptures to every waiter or waitress who served him. An avid Scouter, Charlie was involved with his son in Troop 62, and loved camping at the H. Roe. Bartle Scout Reservation where he was known as warrior Silver-Haired Bear in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Linda, son Charles R. Keller II and his wife Lotte, daughter Rebecca L. Cottle and her husband Ben, grandchildren Katarina and Karsten Keller, Joshua and Samantha DeGroff, their father Charles DeGroff, and brother Richard Keller. Visitation is Tuesday, May 5th at Leawood Baptist Church (83rd and State Line) from 6 to 8 pm, and the funeral will also be at the church on Wednesday at 11 am. Burial with military honors will be at Mt. Moriah, 105th and Holmes. The family requests no flowers, but contributions in Charlie's honor can be made to Leawood Baptist Church or The Gideons International. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.muehlebachchapel.com
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Published by Kansas City Star on May 3, 2015.